Hi from Koycegiz,Turkey.
I sit here typing away while frustrated at the European culture of smoking everywhere......so I apologise if this is but a brief account of our travels since leaving Vancouver and getting to the Greek Islands.
In a nutshell, the Greek Islands were beautiful....the beaches, the weather, the calipo icecreams and the odd meal/cocktail spent watching mediteraanean sunsets were just damn cool. However, Jodes and I are both glad to have moved on to Turkey where we have found the Turkish people and their currency far friendlier than their Greek counterparts.
We love Turkey! We were very surpised when we first arrived at Kusadasi to encounter well dressed European men trying to sell us Gucci with Turkish/Australian accents. Jodes and I soon got very sick of being hassled by the street salesman but things are much better since fleeing from the city to some more remote areas where it seems that the salesman, whilst still everywhere, are more convenient than intrusive. We have (I cant find an apostrophe key) been winding our way South East since landing in Kusadasi en route to Turkeys mediteraanean coastline in search of a sun tan.
Despite the fact that we have already enjoyed many sunny days this here summer, we are still sporting some of the best moon=tans around these parts......darn pale affliction!
time to dine here, hope everyone is well at home, all the best. Macca and Jodes.
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Macca says hi. He would love to be writing to you all but he is heavily involved in researching bike tours in China. I have officially handed over the reins for that part of the journey so I am leaving him to it!
So- We have left camp high and dry and done a runner. Not very popular with the boss but saw some great parts of New York state. Plenty of firts for us both... rock climbing, ab-sailing (didn't learn how to spell it though), caving (extreme/get-stuck-in-tiny holes type of caving) as well as some mountain biking (now I know why they call it a mountain bike). So we didn't quite get to welcome any kids to camp but we were there for 3 weeks and let me tell you- it felt like three years! It was amazing but we weren't left with one minute of our own and we gathered that it would only get worse once the kids were around. So we saw the best bits and packed our bags.
Now we are officially traveling around the world. The make us or break us bit! We'll keep you posted but if you don't hear from us for a while its because we are trying to keep the the $30 a day budget! Wish us luck!
I have just uploaded some pics. Enjoy!
Lots and lots of love- Jodi and Macca.
Location: Equinuck, USA
I just wanted to add some more details about where we are living for the summer...
Yesterday we set up our tents. I think I told some people that they were little canvas huts so it was all going to be fine even if it was for three months. I was a little optimistic it turns out. When the kids get here, we will be living in real tents in the bush for three months with no running water, no toilets, no showers and no electricity. Admittedly, there are some toilets and showers a mere 300m away through some bear infested scrub but we have to be honest- it's a little different to Neutral Bay. For some reason my Mum's favourite phrase keeps running through my head: character building.
I'm not lying about the bears either just for the record! We were raking the beach volleyball court the other day and there were bear tracks right through the middle.
Hopefully we make it back home...
Location: Equinuck, USA
I cannot believe it has been nearly 2 months since I last updated this site...sorry!
We finished up in Banff (we were both well and truly ready to move on) and spent a few days in Calgary with a friend of mine (Clare Slater and her boyfriend Steve). We had a great time with them and saw all the sites around Calgary including a bar called Cowboys that leaves Hooters for dead. The girls that work there get breast enlargements if they work there for over 6 months...enough said. The inner cowboy in Macca was revealed (to me)...I never knew he new all the lyrics to every single country song ever written and that so much joy could be brought to him just by singing them at the top of his lungs at this crazy bar. At least now I know what I have to do to get him to dance with me.
After Calgary we went to Montreal where the first language is French. We had a great time and saw all of the sites...Old Montreal, Notre Dame, The Botanical Gardens, The Bio Dome, the Olympic site and a whole heap of poverty and homeless people. Great city but heaps of poverty. We walked and walked and walked our way around- just part of budget travel I guess!
Montreal was followed by Boston to see Michael teVelde and Gill. Had a an absolute ball and was so nice to see a good friend in the middle of our trip just to get a good dose of 'home' to keep us going! Boston is great and we even considered moving there but that was just a fleeting thought as most of ours are. We saw Harvard and Macca came to the realisation that he was never actually supposed to be a professional American Baseballer because even though he might be able to throw a cricket ball a long way, he can't catch a baseball in a mit to save his life.
We left TV and Gill and headed to summer camp which is where we find ourselves now. We have been absolutely flat chat since we got here. We are in precamp at the moment so the kids aren't here but we have had some smaller groups come in so mostly we just rake and rake and rake. Up to 12 hour days all for $30 cash and our food and roof over our heads. If nothing else, this trip has taught me to be thankful for the brain in my head and given me absolute motivation to fully utilise it when I get home.
We are pretty happy with the decision to come to summer camp. We have met some really nice people but every one still just wants to drink the whole time. Fortunately we are both on the same page and had our drinking fix in all those years in Armidale. Macca isn't getting too sun burnt (the cute little carrot top!) and we are getting plenty of exercise. The other day for example, I went jogging, water skiing, played Volleyball, Basketball and then went for a canoe in the lake. Needless to say I could hardly walk the next day but backed up with a day full of raking and then a day as canoe tour host, lifeguard at the pool and arts and crafts supervisor. So there you have it! A glimpse in to the life at summer camp.
We just had our first two days off and decided to head into new York. We have made good friends with a guy called Chris from Texas who has just returned from Afganistan with the US Army. He got us a good deal at the Crowne Plaza in Manhattan so we all stayed there (very flash!!). We did all the typical stuff- Statue of Liberty, Time Square, Wall Street, Top of the Rock (Rockerfellar building...the 'new' Empire State Building if you will... observation deck just reopened for the public and probably better than going up the Empire State because you don't actually get to see it when you are on it!). We also cruised around Soho and China Town. Stayed clear of 5th avenue...the shops would just depress me, plus it was just a trip with the boys so I don't think they would have been into shopping. We will go back to do Central Park on the next trip. New York is amazing though. It is the easiest city I have ever visited and was not at all intimidated by the size. It is massive and not something you could quite grasp until you see it but so user friendly.
Ok, Ok, I am tired and rambling. I am going to go to bed! I am missing everyone and can't wait for a glass of wine in a really big nice wine glass (as opposed to a plastic mug!).
Lots and lots of love- Jodi.
Location: Jasper, Canada
Well, well, well
Where to start! We have been up to a fair bit lately. It is getting warmer, now officially Spring even though the snow continues to fall!
The skiing update first. Macca has recovered from the knee/powder (actually boulder) incident and has done Delerium Dive a few times. For those that don't know, it is an extreme terrain run in an avalanche area. Sounds inviting hey. He will probably have more to say when he gets around to it. I have had another lesson and upgraded the skis coutesy of Macca's position in the ski tent. I have fallen in love with them and am now tearing up the slopes! I now know what skiing is all about. It only took most of the season to get the hang of it.
We went Dog Sledding which was quite good. One of those must do things but probably won't do it twice. We got some good pics that I will post soon.
Most recent was the Jasper road trip. We went with a few blokes from Sunshine and another that works at the Banff Springs. He got us cheap accomodation, food and drinks at the Fairmont in Jasper. I felt so spoilt! The trip was amazing. The whole time I was thinking how lucky we are. I never could have dreamt about the things we have been doing and seeing lately. Ok- enough soppy stuff.
We saw plenty of wildlife; Elk, Deer, Coyotes, Big Horned Sheep but no Bears or Moose. Macca crashed the car (only minor...sort of). We went skiing and swam in the pool at the resort and I got a stinkin' cold. Daylight saving kicked in so the sun is going down at 8.30/9pm. Still not getting that barbie and beer vibe though. Its still hovering around 5 degrees so the thongs will be in the wardrobe for a little longer.
We have decided we need to come back in summer. This place would be awesome. For now though, Summer Camp calls and we will be heading to Montreal (sight seeing), Boston (TV and Gill visit) and then New York for a couple of months. We leave Banff on the 10th of May. I am giving notice at the second job in 10 days and counting. Only 12 shifts to go there and 5 weeks left in Banff and at the Sunshine job. Hoping to get in one more trip to Lake Louise.
Hope all is well at home and will hopefully get to talk to a few of you before we hit the road for the second half of our trip.
to all concerned,
Despite the way Jodes' entry below may read, I am actually still having a good time and looking forward to being a mountain bike guide......further, my temper isn't that bad!
Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada
Just wanted to let you in on our new plans as they are well happening! I have managed to talk the Big Red Chief into coming with me to New York to work in a Summer Camp with 7-15 year old children! It's only for a couple of months so I am hoping we all survive the temper of the red man because I am sure it will be tested! In saying that, I must say he is quite a happy camper so lets hope the buzz from the ski season keeps him going for a while.
Macca has inevitably injured his knee. That massive mound of powder that every one else had skiied around wasn't actually a massive mound of powder but a massive boulder instead. Low visability at 60+ km/hour meant that 4 feet didn't leave enough reaction time. Even for the Mackster. As a result, he's been out of action (walking but still complaining). Lets just hope for the sake of the kids he gets in some more time on the mountain before New York.
With Macca off the slopes it is leaving us some time to do some 'touristy' things. Yesterday we went to Johnson's Canyon for an ice walk. It was lovely (just ask Macca). Next week we are going to Calgary and will hopefully see some Ice Hockey. At the start of April we are doing a road trip with some fellas to Jasper but most of all we can't wait to see Michael te Velde and Gill when we head to New York! (I am sooooo excited!).
Hope all is well.
Lots of Love from Jodi!
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The following rant is basically the telling of how good a time Jodes and I have just had in Las Vegas. This was simply an awesome trip.
It was actually my birthday on the day we arrived in town and I had asked Jodes for a diary. Imagine my surprise at the airport when she told me that she had rented a Harley Davidson for my birthday.... and so, shortly after landing in the city of sin, we find ouselves standing in front of a guy called "Tank" at "Las Vegas Choppers" and we're being fitted out with our leathers and provided with one 1400CC Harley Davidson Softail.......sign here, push there, click that. jump on .....and we're cruising through the streets of Vegas heading out into the Nevada desert to see the Valley of Fire and Hoover Dam.
I must admit it took a little while for the nerves to settle - consider that I've never driven on this side of the road and suddenly my shiela (oh yeah!) and I are purring along on a Hog doing 75mph down the freeway (barely keeping up with the traffic), all the time trying to watch the stream of fighter jets that are flying past overhead. The grins were simply out of control! Jodes passed much of the time by singing and holding her arms out in the wind (Titanic style) while I perfected my wave to fellow free spirited Hog riders (FYI a simple movement of the left hand below the handle bars is suffice).
We stayed at the MGM Grand (which had 12 bars!) from where we managed to foot-falcon it most of Vegas' attractions. I'm sure that those of you who've been to Vegas would agree that the whole scene is rediculously over-the-top (which is obvioulsy great).
We did all the touristy things - we went to a theatre show at the MGM, we drank Coronas while watching the hotties at Coyote Ugly and ate pretzels in the New York Casino, we watched people in real Gondolas at the Venetian Casino, we were wowed at the Bellagio Casino water show, we went shopping at Victoria Secret (guess who), checked out cigar shops, went to a wax museum and nudged each other giggling whenever a set of fake boobs walked by (dark sunnies a must).
Jodes in particular was a big fan of the sunny 20+ degrees in Vegas - a great change from the Banff weather (the first morning back in Banff we were greeted with a rather unpleasant -32 degrees, that's a whopping 50 degrees temperature change within one day!)
So, the question on everyone's lips (no, not did we get married in a dodgy church?)....but rather, did we win any money? Jodes had a nice little run one night (enough to pay for our night out) while I sat behind her at the tables (like a good second-half) holding her handbag.....relegated to the bench as a result of my having gone too hard too early on the roulette table - the 0 that I spun while heavily committed may haunt me for some time yet).
I know Jodes is working on getting a heap of photos on the site to help paint the picture of the good times described above. Hope everyone is well. thanks to all for the emails.....keep them coming!
Macca & Jodes.
Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada
As you can all tell by the lack of diary entries we haven't been up to too much. Its just been the daily grind really. We had our visitors over Chrissy and have just started getting back to 'normal'. We have taken some happy snaps but mostly with friends cameras because ours doesn't seem to like the glare of the snow and neither of us have read the directions on how to work ours properly.
We had a little trip to Fernie which is a ski resort in British Columbia. It was great to get away even if it did rain. There was so much powder which only went to prove what novice's we still are. Atleast when I fell down the black runs it didn't hurt too much.
We had Australia Day at Lake Louise with Letto and Lucy (Macca's Aussie friends living in London on holidays in Canada). Great day that included the expolration of some double blacks for Macca and some single blacks for me. Macca is getting a ski in nearly every day and I ski about once or twice a week.
We have a nice trip planned for Macca's birthday next week starting with a trip to Hooters in Calgary before we fly out to Vegas. Fingers crossed we don't come back (more) broke. We have set some ground rules for Macca including the surrender of all credit cards upon entry in to Las Vegas air port. Good move on Macca's behalf I think!
In our true indecisive spirit we have come up with a new pipe dream. It involves London, making lots of money and a couple more years travel. I don't want to hear any one say 'I told you so'! I'll still be back in October for a dose of sun, tim tams, twisties and some good Aussie wine. Not to mention my family and friends that I am missing like crazy.
We'll keep you posted on the Vegas adventure.
Till then- lots of love from Jodi.
Quick update from the tent (where I work at the ski resort). There's no customers, I'm listening to Powderfinger and the snow continues to fall - awesome! Have just finished a ski break with Humpy (the Humpworm, hump, Will Lucas). I've been making the most of the free access to the high performance skies (new expensive cool stuff) which makes for lots of fun........"I'm sorry Sir, those cool looking skies you can see behind me are not available today".
Jodes sits bored silly at her ski school desk about 60 steps away pondering life's problems (eg, the price of chicken in Banff, is it the Grizzly or the Black bear that one musn't run from? and how did it come to be that she's earning $7 an hour in freezing Canada?....fair questions indeed).
Well apparently there is work to be done here, best be off to shovel some snow.
hope everyone is well. all the best. Macca